- Budget and Appropriations Update
- Education Department Advances Proposed Higher Education Rules
- NDD United Urges Congress to Raise BCA Budget Caps
- UMR Data Shows NIH Budget Increases Fuel Economic Growth
- AFRI Coalition Asks Congress for At Least $445M for FY20
- Senate Legislation Would “End China’s Unguarded Access to America’s Colleges”
- Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on Campus Sexual Assault
- DOD to Issue New Reporting Requirements for Key Research Personnel
- AAU, Associations Urge Senators to Pass Dream Act of 2019
- Upcoming Events
BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE
In lieu of a budget resolution, the House Budget Committee Wednesday passed a proposal to raise the Budget Control Act’s budget caps for FY20 and FY21. H.R. 2021, the “Investing for the People Act of 2019," caps non-defense discretionary spending at $631 billion for FY20, a 5.7 percent increase above FY19, and caps defense spending to $664 billion for FY20, a 2.6 percent increase over FY19. The bill also raises the non-defense cap to $646 and defense to $680 billion for FY21. The bill limits Overseas Contingency Operations funds to FY19 levels – $69 billion – for FY20 and FY21. These funding levels far exceed the White House’s FY20 request, which seeks to retain budget caps in FY20.
A floor vote is anticipated as early as next week.
The Senate Budget Committee last week passed its budget resolution along party lines.
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT ADVANCES PROPOSED HIGHER EDUCATION RULES
The Education Department’s accreditation and innovation negotiated rulemaking committee Wednesday advanced a wide range of department proposals to rewrite higher education rules. The proposed federal rule changes would impact college accreditation, state authorization requirements, religious institutions, competency-based education, TEACH grants, and more. The department must now publish their approved regulatory language in the Federal Register and solicit public comments.
AAU, ASSOCIATIONS URGE SENATORS TO PASS DREAM ACT OF 2019
AAU, along with 33 other associations, yesterday sent a letter to Senate leadership to encourage them to pass the S. 874, “the Dream Act.” Introduced last week by Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) the bill would allow young adults to stay in the United States if they came here as children, graduated high school or obtained a GED, and pursued college, military service, or three or more years of employment. The legislation is identical to the Dream Act of 2017.
RESOURCE AVAILABLE: AAU, Associations, Call for Swift Action on House Dream and Promise Act
NDD UNITED URGES CONGRESS TO RAISE BCA BUDGET CAPS
The Non-Defense Discretionary United coalition, of which AAU is a member, on Tuesday sent a letter to Congress urging them to raise the Budget Control Act budget caps for FY20 and FY21. According to the letter, “if Congress fails to reach a new budget agreement in the coming year, overall NDD funding would be cut by 12 percent (adjusting for inflation) compared to fiscal 2019 levels, with many areas sustaining far deeper cuts as Congress seeks to limit the damage in certain areas at the expense of other national priorities.” The letter goes on to say “Congress and the White House must work together to avoid these cuts and provide new resources” in areas including education and scientific research, among others.
UMR DATA SHOWS NIH BUDGET INCREASES FUEL ECONOMIC GROWTH
United for Medical Research, a coalition which includes AAU, this week released data that shows that NIH budget increases since 2015 have directly and indirectly supported 433,011 jobs nationwide and generated almost $74 billion in related new economic activity. UMR President Alex Currie says, “this data is an important reminder that, while medical research takes time to produce results in the form of new therapies and cures, the secondary economic impact of this research is immediate and is experienced in communities in every state in the nation.”
AFRI COALITION ASKS CONGRESS FOR AT LEAST $445M FOR FY20
The Agriculture Food Research Initiative Coalition, composed of 22 organizations including AAU, today sent a letter to House and Senate Agricultural Appropriators asking them for at least $445 million in funding for AFRI in FY20. The letter says, “we believe this level of funding is needed to solve pressing challenges facing agriculture, attract and retain the next generation of scientists, and advance innovations benefiting all Americans. Food and agricultural research is also a sound investment, with a $20 return on every $1 spent.”
SENATE LEGISLATION WOULD “END CHINA’S UNGUARDED ACCESS TO AMERICA’S COLLEGES”
Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) last week introduced a package of bills he says will “protect national security by ending China’s unfettered access to American college campuses.” The package includes two bills that affect colleges and universities: S. 939, the “Confucius Act,” would limit federal funds except Title IV and student aid unless university agreements with Confucius Institutes include provisions protecting academic freedom, prohibiting the application of foreign law on campus, and granting managerial authority to the university; and S. 937, “the Protecting American Technology Act,” would require deemed export licenses be in place before foreign national could conduct research in a university lab.
SENATE HELP COMMITTEE HOLDS HEARING ON CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee yesterday held a hearing to look at how colleges respond to sexual assault on campus. During the hearing, Senators agreed that campus sexual assault should be addressed in the Higher Education Act but disagree on how to address the Education Department’s proposed Title IX guidance. Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) was hopeful the committee could reach an agreement on Higher Education Act reauthorization as early as June or July. Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) made it clear Democrats looked to remove some elements of the Education Department’s proposal that address campus sexual assault.
AAU endorsed testimony given by ACE director of government relations Anne Meehan.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has more.
DOD TO ISSUE NEW REPORTING REQUIREMENT FOR KEY RESEARCH PERSONNEL
Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin in late March released a memo that outlines new reporting requirements for all key personnel working on DOD research grants, contracts, and agreements. These new requirements are in response to the language included in Section 1286 of the FY19 NDAA and are effective as of May 1, thirty business days after the memo was issued.
MAY 22 CNSR SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, & INFORMATION EXCHANGE (STIx) BRIEFING; 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET, 2325 Rayburn House Office Building. Register here. For more information, see invitation here. If interested in presenting a poster, email Aaron Kiesler.